Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fort Hill Farms, a little gem in Thompson

On the advice of a friend, we took a drive up to Thompson, CT to visit Fort Hill Farms for some ice cream, but found a lot more.  Nestled in the backwoods of northeastern Connecticut, Fort Hill Farms is quiet and clean.  The property itself has quite a history dating back to the 1600s.
There is, of course, the creamery with phenomenal ice cream made from their cows' milk.  Boog chose Mint Chip, Kyle had the Maple Walnut, I had the Nutter Peanut Butter, and Mudge had a chocolate shake.  All of which could have taken the place of dinner tonight.  You can even buy a pint of Farmer's Cow Ice Cream to go, but you would probably eat in on the way home.
Besides the creamery, you walk through a lavender and assorted wild flower gardens.  A corn maze opens in the fall when the corn grows to best hide and seek height.  And you can even pan for "gold and minerals" by purchasing a bag and then sifting through it in the water mill at the edge of the creamery.  There are animals to check out like pheasants, peacocks and the cows.  And they offer a variety of pick your own fruits when in season.  I was also highly impressed and excited to see a hay ride with wheel chair access utilizing an electric lift and clips for safe harvest rides.

So if you are looking for a new place to try some delicious ice cream and just get into some quiet scenery, away from the house, take a drive up Route 44 or 395 to Thompson to Fort Hill Farms.  I am sure, at least you could leave your children there.....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thermos Funtainer Bottle- Best Thermos Ever!!!

I keep stealing sips from Boog's Ironman Thermos. I filled it with ice and water this morning at 9 am and at 8 pm it still has ice cubes in it!!! Not kidding. This thermos is awesome.

It is called the Thermos Funtainer bottle, 12 oz.  When Thermos states it "stays cold for 12 hours", I assure you it does!   According to there information detail, it uses a "double wall vacuum insulation".  It is dishwasher safe.  Kid proof design and has taken a beating from my children.  I love the push button lid with pop up straw; it is incredibly easy for the little ones to use.

You can get them at Target for $13.99

In fact Toys R Us is selling the for 25% off, according to todays flier., originally 14.99 to 16.49

But by far, best price was $6.99 at Ocean State Job Lot over the weekend for Bakugan and Batman types.

They are made of stainless steel and the silicone straw just has a good flow. Like I said, it was making me drink more water as well as the kids.  I only use them for water, but I am sure you can put juice in them.   So if you want to go green and pitch the disposable and non PBA bottles, I HIGHLY recommend these to keep everyone hydrated and happy this summer.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One of the best parts of summer is the impromptu get togethers

Life moves quickly in these parts of the woods, even though it is hickville.  Places to go, people to see, things to do.  And of course, work gets in the way, as do the colds and viruses.  But now that summer is here, the level of leniency increases for the kids' bedtimes and routines.

 Normally, during the school year our schedule is pretty regimented.  Get home, eat supper, bath, and bed.  Kids are down by 7 pm.  No joke.  Not much you can do about that or we end up paying dearly in the morning.  Now that we've had 4 days of relaxed mornings, I have been able to keep them up to 8 pm.  It doesn't seem like much, but that extra hour has led to after supper pool time and more grilling time, which I love.
Yesterday was grilled pizzas (and grilled s'more pizza too for the boys).  Tonight was sirloin tips and chicken.  And I am itching to grill some squash.  What was so great, though, the fact that my girlfriend, my sister and brother in law, and all the niece and nephews ended up here and was basically a midweek grillin'  chillin' party in the backyard.  With the finale of swimming, Mudge of course in his underwear.
So now the boys are in bed, exhausted.  And I can only hope they start to sleep in a little bit; come on, it's my summer vacation too

S'More Pizza:
Store bought dough
Mini Marshmallows

Let dough warm up on counter for a 1/2 hour or so before prepping
Get the grill hot, high flame while you are prepping
Coat small dough balls with olive oil and flatten into amoeba shape
Right before you put the dough on the grill, throw it on Low flame
Dough on, shut cover for a few minutes depending on crispiness desired
Lather Nutella and marshmallows
Close cover again until marshmallows start to expand and dough is crispy

Other Options:
Reese's Pizza: PB and Nutella
Elvis: PB and Banana Slices
Rocky Road: Nutella, Walnuts, and Marshmallows
Harvest: PB, Apple Slices and Walnuts

Monday, June 27, 2011

when the lettuce is as tall as the child...

Ok.  I am a novice when it comes to gardening so I am very excited to see it actually working this year.  I have peas ready for picking, strawberries starting to turn red and some zucchinis popping out of the blossoms.  I've been plucking basil for pizza and and mint for tabouli.  But WTH do I do with 3 1/2 foot tall lettuce?

I noticed, as I was getting something from the garden with Mudget this morning, that my red leaf lettuce is as tall as him; I know he is small but the lettuce is still gargantuan.  I was told to pick leaves from the bottom and it will continue to grow.  So I have noticed.  I am trying to use it in wraps.  I can make the a simple salad.  I suppose I could find a smoothie that incorporates it, but I would rather not.   Sweet lord, I can't eat that much lettuce and soon it will look like I have the bean stalk from Jack's story.

I've come across some good recipes but in the mean time...Anyone have any suggestions to keep it from shooting stalks to the moon????

Missy's Candied Walnut Gorgonzola Salad

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Number of Jumps into Pool/length of swim time = Days without Bath

We were pondering today what is the correct equation for how many days a child could go without a bath if you have access to water play.

First Scenario:
Ocean Swimming= zero days.  The salt water is way too nasty on hair and skin, for both boys and girls

Second Scenario:
Fresh Water Swimming= 0-1 day depending on locality and "Freshness" of the lake or river.  ie Jumping in the Saco River in Maine, you could go 1-2 days easy; Spring Lake, I would still hose the kids down.

Third Scenario:
Pool= 1-2 days.  If the child is submerging self at end of day to the point of exhaustion, take them out, dry them off and put them in the jammies. And if it happens the following day too, who cares.

Now mind you, I have two boys with short (soon to be mohawked) hair.  Girls are a different story because of the rats nests that can occur, however with a good spray in detangler, they too can skip a bath or two.  :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

That's not flying, that's just falling with style.~ Well in this case it is

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, The RI Air Show is down at Quonset.

I almost forgot about it, until Kyle mentioned it to me this morning.  The boys had a great time looking at all of the planes, jets, and helicopters.  It was amazing to see helicopters do loop de loops.  And they even got to go up onto and into a couple of planes. Towards the back, be weary.  Most things are free, including parking- though they are requesting a $10 donation to help Hasbro Children's Hospital.  However there were some entrance fees to go into a few of the copters and planes- just a few dollars but keep that in mind.  Channel 10 was there giving out some stuff, as well as Geico, RIPTA and others.  All in all, "a wonderful day" per the Mudge and Boog.
Air Show opens at 9 am, show starts at 10.  Go RI Air Show for more details.

Little man in a big plane

Couple of things to note:
  • Bring ear plugs/headphones, it gets loud
  • Bring sunscreen
  • Go early, it gets hot quickly as the sun reflects off the tar mat
  • If you have little ones, bring a wagon or stroller- best thing I did today
  • Don't forget a camera
  • No coolers allowed, but they let in the kids' lunch soft lunch box with water bottles and snacks
  • AND DON'T FORGET WHERE YOU PARKED!!! Make note of a visual marker of some sort or you will be lost for hours!
If you are lucky, this will happen to you...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sinks are not for dishes...

Or for straws.  Or tea bags for that matter.  According to my wonderful husband, the sink is not a depository for dirty items; that is what the dishwasher is for.

A sink was for dishes, when I was growing up.  We did not have a dishwasher.  When the pile was big, we washed the dishes.   Or go into my sister's room, and collect the umpteen nasty iced tea cups from her headboard, most with fuzzy growing items on the leftover Lipton Mix stuck to the bottom.  It was the same way in college too.  Sinks collected the dishes, then we did them.
 And still now, I deposit the dirty dishes in the sink and at some point, usually before Kyle gets home, I try to put them in the dishwasher.  Sometimes I forget or don't get to it, and Kyle's non-passive way of getting back at me is that he tosses the wet nasty tea bag or straw down my shirt.  Gross, I know.  But he comes from a way different background of cleanliness habits, hence why he brainwashed the children into replying to the question: "Who makes the messes?"  Mommy.  "Who cleans it up?"  We do.  Hey, if they wanna clean up my messes, I'll let them.  I have cleaned enough of theirs.

Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.  ~Author Unknown

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Out of the mouth of babes...

Children's quotes are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.  Here are some of the best quotes of the last few weeks that I have heard from mine...

Mudge: "Momma, you're the booger factory and I'm the fart master."

Boog: "Mom, I love you as much as possible."

Mudge: "Joe doesn't know my angel kiss."

Boog: "Mom, I'll try something new every week."

Mudge: "No, mama, I'm not the man, I'm the bus."

Boog: "Mom, why are YOU vacuuming?"

Mudge: "Mommy makes the messes and Daddy cleans them up."

Boog: "My winky said hi."

Mudge: "Momma, you don't have a winky.  What do you have?  A bagina?"

Boog: "Mom, this booger that I pulled off my boo boo made it totally heal."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'm Changing the Definition of PMS

I know PMS was considered Putting up with Men's S###.  But on some days, the children seem to push my buttons a little easier.  So I am changing PMS to Pushing Mom's Self-Destruct.

I know it isn't their fault when they are just being cute, making noises for noises' sake.  Or pretending to touch each other saying "I'm not touching."  Or having a version of the "Nuh hun, Yeah huh" game.  But amazingly enough, those things can scratch against my proverbial chalkboard making the Bad Mommy Voice want to rear its ugly head.  And yes, sometimes Bad Mommy comes out. Which is followed by the visit of Guilty Mommy because Bad Mommy used her loud voice for an instant.  (That instant did feel good for that short time.)

We all do it.  And if you don't, I don't believe you.  You can't tell me you are Practically Perfect Mary Poppins, she was the nanny.  Maybe I am wrong, but I think more of us are closer to a mix of Roseanne, Marge Simpson with a splash Claire Huxtable for good measure.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer is a promissory note signed in June, it's long days spent and gone before you know it , due to be repaid next January. ~Hal Borland

According to Wikipedia, where I get all of my vast knowledge of random things, the summer solstice occurs when the sun reaches it's highest point in the sky, when the earth's axial tilt is at its maximum Incline towards the sun. They say the summer solstice is the longest day of the year. But I disagree.

I can definite think of longer days. My due date with both of the children. Both were very long as I waited for the days to come and pass resulting in more days of waiting. Or maybe when I waited to get my boards results in in fear that I would not be able to keep my job. Or the days that start with a bang a 5 am with kids raring to go as if they had drank my coffee. So today I ask you, what has been the longest day for you?

Monday, June 20, 2011

The home stretch

The reason I talk to myself is that I'm the only one whose answers I accept. George Carlin

Just a few more days to go to summer vacation and I am getting antsy. I am trying to tie up loose ends at work, making sure everything has the proverbial bow on it, Is are dotted and Ts are crossed. Also trying to clean shop. By this time of year our OT room is quite out of sorts, paints, scissors and scrap paper everywhere. As is my house.

But that light is shining at me from the end of the tunnel, blinking, saying "Come on, Becca, just a few more days and then you can make frozen mommy drinks all summer long, and play with the children, and maybe even run in the morning because realistically that is the only time you will have the energy to do it...". Wow, that light is verbose.

And while that light babbles, I am looking forward to going through the piles we have accumulated over the school year. I say we, but I know really it is just me. Every week, Kyle places my pile down in the basement in a large container so that it is no longer an eye sore. I find it incredibly annoying, but I let him do it because it makes him happy. In all reality, I just go down there, once a month, and bring most of it back up. And I also have to go through boog's work and keep the good stuff, recycle the rest. I hope to eventually get a nice little organizer as the keepsake bin. I already started going through clothes to pack away. I hope the momentum can continue once my summer vacation starts, I'll just have to see...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chillaxing by the water.....

“Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.”

-- Michelle Held

Today was a gorgeous day spent with family and friends down on the Narrow River.  Mudge went with Kyle in the kayak; he is small enough to fit into one of the storage hatches.  He was ready and raring to go with his life jacket.  But Boog just felt degraded by the need to wear a life jacket since he can swim without one.  So he opted to stay back with me, looking for hermit crabs.  I love the fact he has no hesitation when picking up the crabs and holding them as they crawl over his hand.  At one point, he looked at me with his freckly face and said, "Mom, isn't this nice? Just sittin' here, chillaxin, you and me?"  Too cute.
Mudge returned and wanted to come search for the crabs, too, but screamed like a little school girl as they crawled on his brother's hand.  They swam for a while and then we chillaxed some more in the sunshines with some "Cheese Toes", also known as Cheetos.

I am ready to start summer vacation after these two gorgeous days outside with the boys. Can't wait to do some more chillaxin, get some more Del's, and just do some fun things too.  But I know I have to wait a few more days till my school lets out.  Boog is lucky, he gets out a few days earlier than I do.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A father carries pictures where his money used to be. ~Author Unknown

Happy Father's Day to all you Dad's!

So for the strong arms,
the gentle hands

the pirate play

the big shoes to fill

 the projects 
 the love

I wish you a Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

It is a mathematical fact that fifty percent of all doctors graduate in the bottom half of their class.

"Mom, 4 times 3 is 12, right?"
"Yes, it is. Why do you know this?"
"My brain just taught it to me."

And there it was.  A 5 year old who knew the concept of multiplication.  So I tested him a little further, as we drove down the road.  5x3.  He looked into a different direction as if to see the numbers, took a moment and blurted the answer. 15.  OK, 2x8.  Squinty eyes, finger calculating in the air.  16.  I didn't teach it to him. Neither did his wonderful Kindergarten teacher.  "Boog, how do you know this?"

Well, come to find out, Boog and Kyle were in the car one day a few weeks earlier and Kyle explained to him that multiplication was just addition.  That was it.   That was all it took.  Now, don't get too Rainman on him, because he couldn't go past double digits accurately, but it is pretty interesting.  But it goes with his personality, concrete, black and white, numbers.  He gets things easily when there are rules, which is all math is, rules.

So who is to say that my future MIT graduate will pay for my nursing home staying later in life?  I suppose I shouldn't get too excited, he only did just graduate from Kindergarten today.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM

There is something so right about going out for ice cream.

We had done things a little backwards this evening.  Showering first, since they had been playing in the sprinkler when they got home from school.  Got the jammies on. Ate supper.  But it was still early, even by our standards.  So off we went.

We travelled only a few miles to Abby's, on Route 100.  It was like going back in time, because across the street was a Cruiser Nite, about 15 antique cars and trucks with 50's music blasting in the background.  I have to say, it was really nostalgic.  It made me briefly feel happy the technology and computers were away, and that we were just enjoying our ice cream and company.
Abby's offers homemade ice cream, from Cumberland's Ice Cream Machine.  And it is delicious.  Booger was so excited to have his Dinosaur Crunch, a blue crazy vanilla base with crunch dinosaur bones in it.  Mudge went for a classic, chocolate with M&Ms.  And it was rich and creamy, almost Dark Chocolate in flavor.  Yes, they let me have a bite.  And I just couldn't help myself with a Root Beer Float made with French Vanilla.

I can say, that for the $12 that I spent for a double mommy date, I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Not just for the flavor, but for the good times.

Funny Dessert Quotes

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

OT Soapbox: knick knack iPaddy wack....

iPad, oh iPad, how do i love thee? Let me count the ways....

On Mother's Day I received a gift that keeps on giving, my iPad.  Granted, I was planning on getting one away, but the excitement of receiving one is just as fun.  One of the reasons I was so excited was the potential therapeutic uses for which I could use it at work.

Most of the children with whom I work are non verbal and have a lot of special needs and accommodations due to multi sensory issues.  What I was hoping for was a little miraculous device to help them communicate, play and show what they know.  And that is what I got.

The iPad and its infinite number of available apps has opened the door for many of the students.  I am seeing kids grab at my hand to make lines.  Some kids are using their voices to make the little Rex talk back, and others are showing me that they actually know their letters.  Recently, one set of parents purchased a Tablet because I had shared with them how wonderfully their daughters were engaging with games.  

It does frustrate me that for a fraction of the cost of a laptop or Dynavox, kids could have access to a socially acceptable piece of equipment that could help them communicate and interact with peers and adults.  Some counties and schools are beginning to purchase them, and maybe slowly it will trickle down the pike to my system, but I won't hold my breath.  So in the mean time, if you are looking to get an iPad for yourself or child (whether they have special needs or not) here are some great places to keep in mind to help you search for apps that are appropriate (but please don't forget about Angry Birds. I can totally justify it!)

Moms With Apps is a collaborative group of family-friendly developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families. Their app catalog is now available on iTunes.  And if you sign up with them, you get perks like Free Friday where you can download apps for free

Apps in Education is a educational search engine developed by parents and educators to help people  looking for educational apps available in the Apple App Store.

iPodsibilities has a great list of apps used in/for special education

Please keep in mind these are just 3 of the umpteen million things you can find on iTunes, new apps come out every moment and you just have to find some, try them and see what works for you and your kids...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Have you loved your feet lately?

Jogging is very beneficial. It's good for your legs and feet. It's also good for the ground. It makes it feel needed. Charles Schultz

My feet have taken a beaten. I am on my feet all day, jumping around, kids jump on my toes, I stub them daily. I am forever wearing my teva flip flops once the weather is warm. And since I've started running (or jogging at a very slow pace) my feet have paid the price. But in just a few days, summer vacation will be upon me and damn it, my piggies are squealing.

So tonight I went out with a dear friend and we treated ourselves to pedicures and dinner. It was like getting the last requested meal before execution. Enjoying the foot massage and pampering knowing all too well that my pretty toes will last only briefly before they are abused on a daily basis with sun and fun.

The esthetics aren't the only benefit though. By removing callouses a pedi helps to even out the surface of your feet to decrease pain. The foot and leg massage increases circulation. And some say the pressure points on the feet pushed during a pedi helps to overall health in the body.

Therefore, tonight, I will enjoy my crimson toes and uncalloused heels even if only for a moment, and hope to see them another day.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Little Hoarder

A 2 year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don't have a top on it. Jerry Seinfeld

I can probably bet that if I were to open all drawers and doors accessible to the Mudget, I would find a plethora of things. Rocks. Pencils. Sticks. Pennies. Toys. You name it, it's in there waiting for him to find them again. The really funny thing is that he is constantly asking me where these hidden "Treasures", as he so lovingly refers to them, are.

Honey, I don't know what you did with your little plastic duck, look in your room.
I can't find it momma.

And sure enough, I go up stairs and open five of the possible stashes, discovering the duck, a christmas pencil, a whistle and a "gem". Without the convenient "x" to mark the spot, one is never quite sure.

Though I think it is funny, it is normal behavior. Granted at times I swear he is taking the pirate thing too far, I don't think he will be featured on Hoarding on TLC in the next few years.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Oh its pointless staying up for even 20 seconds more...

The day is done
The sun is down
The curtains have been drawn
And darkness has descended over everything in town
The covers have been turned and I've got my pajamas on
I've had my fun
I've stretched and yawned and all is said and done
I'm going to bed
Bed bed bed bed bed

It's funny that I discuss the boys' sleep routine since I totally messed them up last night. You see our bedtime routine is very regimented. If we veer far from it, we pay dearly with crankiness, late risers on school days, or in the Mudget's case, way too early rising.  Like today, after going to be close to 9 last night, he woke up at 630 ish and then fell asleep on me around 730 for another hour.  I know tomorrow, they will both want to sleep till 8. It reminds me like when you hit 30, you are sore two days after a workout.  Same theory....

Anyway, bedtime routine starts at supper. Eat. Very integral part, can't go to bed hungry. Then bath, jammies, show, tickle teeth, sneaky peeps, story, and finally... sleep. And it has been like this for five years. By seven, both boys are in bed. Boog is a 12 hour sleeper. Any less than that there will be hell to pay. Mudget enjoys 10 or less, and even though we try.

At first, it put a damper on social gatherings because we would try to keep them to within a half hour to their bed times regardless of where we were. We were always leaving early.  Its seven, time to go and put the kids to bed.  But now as they are getting older, we have introduced a little more flexibility into the routine, which does continue to bite us in the butt, but ya gotta live a little.  And I have learned that as much as I like MY sleep, I will have to wait until they are in their teens to get to sleep in...

They Might Be Giants
Bed, Bed, Bed and other music available on iTunes

Friday, June 10, 2011

Remember the seed in the little paper cup....

In honor of our little Kindergarten and Preschool graduations rapidly coming, I found it appropriate to share a great folk song similar to Robert Fulghum's poem "All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten."  It's called Kindergarten Wall by John McCutcheon. McCutcheon is a multi-grammy-nominated folk singer /songwriter with years of music under his belt.  But it is this song I love, and now Booger does as well.  I think you will too.  When your little one is grown, you can share it with them again, because the words are simple and true.  You can download it on iTunes for $0.99. It is well worth the dollar....

The Kindergarten Wall
When I was a little kid not so long ago
I had to learn a lot of stuff I didn't even know
How to dress myself, tie my shoes, how to jump a rope
How to smile for a picture without looking like a dope
But of all the things I learned my favorite of them all
Was a little poem hanging on the kindergarten wall

Of all you learn here remember this the best:
Don't hurt each other and clean up your mess
Take a nap everyday, wash before you eat
Hold hands, stick together, look before you cross the street
And remember the seed in the little paper cup:
First the root goes down and then the plant grows up!
Well, it was first, second, third grade, fourth grade, too
Where I had to learn the big things the big kids do
To add, subtract, and multiply, read and write and play
How to sit in a little uncomfortable desk for nearly half a day
But of all they taught me my favorite of them all
Was the little poem hanging on the kindergarten wall
But lately I've been worried as I look around and see
An awful lot of grown-ups acting foolish as can be
Now I know there's lots of things to know I haven't mastered yet
But it seems there's real important stuff that grown-ups soon forget
So I'm sure we'd all be better off if we would just recall
That little poem hanging on the kindergarten wall
Words and Music by John McCutcheon, Mail Myself to You
©1988 by John McCutcheon. Published by Appalsongs (ASCAP)

Roll Out....

Bike riding is a great energy burner, strength trainer, coordination maker, and fun haver.  But you always want to make sure to keep the kids safe.  Here are some safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Safe Riding Tips

Before using your bicycle, make sure it is ready to ride. You should always inspect your bike to make sure all parts are secure and working properly. Remember to:

  • Wear a Properly Fitted Bicycle Helmet. Protect your brain, save your life. For more information see the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publication “Easy Steps to Properly Fit a Bicycle Helmet.”
  • Adjust Your Bicycle to Fit. Stand over your bicycle. There should be 1 to 2 inches between you and the top tube (bar) if using a road bike and 3 to 4 inches if a mountain bicycle. The seat should be level front to back. The seat height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be at the same level with the seat.
  • Check Your Equipment. Before riding, inflate tires properly and check that your brakes work.
  • See and Be Seen. Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, foul weather, or at night, you need to be seen by others. Wearing white has not been shown to make you more visible. Rather, always wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors when riding day or night. Also wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.
  • Control Your Bicycle. Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Carry books and other items in a bicycle carrier or backpack.
  • Watch for and Avoid Road Hazards. Be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves, and dogs. All these hazards can cause a crash. If you are riding with friends and you are in the lead, yell out and point to the hazard to alert the riders behind you.
  • Avoid Riding at Night. It is far more dangerous to ride at night than during the day because you are harder for others to see. If you have to ride at night, wear something that makes you more easily seen by others. Make sure you have reflectors on the front and rear of your bicycle (white lights on the front and red rear reflectors are required by law in many States), in addition to reflectors on your tires, so others can see you.Many bicycle-related crashes resulting in injury or death are associated with the bicyclist’s behavior, including such things as not wearing a bicycle helmet, riding into a street without stopping, turning left or swerving into traffic that is coming from behind, running a stop sign, and riding the wrong way in traffic. To maximize your safety, always wear a helmet AND follow the rules of the road.

Rules of the Road – Bicycling on the Road
Bicycles in many States are considered vehicles, and cyclists have the same rights and the same responsibilities to follow the rules of the road as motorists. When riding, always:
  • Go With the Traffic Flow. Ride on the right in the same direction as other vehicles. Go with the flow – not against it.
  • Obey All Traffic Laws. A bicycle is a vehicle and you’re a driver. When you ride in the street, obey all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
  • Yield to Traffic When Appropriate. Almost always, drivers on a smaller road must yield (wait) for traffic on a major or larger road. If there is no stop sign or traffic signal and you are coming from a smaller roadway (out of a driveway, from a sidewalk, a bike path, etc.), you must slow down and look to see if the way is clear before proceeding. This also means yielding to pedestrians who have already entered a crosswalk.
  • Be Predictable. Ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars. Signal your moves to others.
  • Stay Alert at All Times. Use your eyes AND ears. Watch out for potholes, cracks, wet leaves, storm grates, railroad tracks, or anything that could make you lose control of your bike. You need your ears to hear traffic and avoid dangerous situations; don’t wear a headset when you ride.
  • Look Before Turning. When turning left or right, always look behind you for a break in traffic, then signal before making the turn. Watch for left- or right-turning traffic.
  • Watch for Parked Cars. Ride far enough out from the curb to avoid the unexpected from parked cars (like doors opening, or cars pulling out).

Sidewalk versus Street Riding
The safest place for bicycle riding is on the street, where bicycles are expected to follow the same rules of the road as motorists and ride in the same direction.

  • Children less than 10 years old, however, are not mature enough to make the decisions necessary to safely ride in the street.
  • Children less than 10 years old are better off riding on the sidewalk. ^ For anyone riding on a sidewalk:
  • Check the law in your State or jurisdiction to make sure sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Watch for vehicles coming out of or turning into driveways.
  • Stop at corners of sidewalks and streets to look for cars and to make sure the drivers see you before crossing.
  • Enter a street at a corner and not between parked cars. Alert pedestrians that you are near by saying, “Excuse me,” or, “Passing on your left,” or use a bell or horn.

For more information on bicycle safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Web site at:

And for cool reflective clothing try Massachusetts Based Illuminite

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Seventy-five percent of our planet is water – can you swim?

Now that our pool is open, my mommy sensors turn on even more-so.  Though we have an above ground, it is still scary to think that in a blink of an eye, one of the kids could get in if I forget to put up the ladder.  So I wanted to share some pool safety links I found from Pool Safety from the US Consumer Safety Product Commission.  The USCSPC helped to pass The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act) after the unfortunate loss of Virginia Graeme, a 7 year old girl who drowned after entrapment in a hot tub drain.  The federal act outlines the minimum standards and recommendations for home and public use.

There are 3 basic rules:
Swim Lessons
Safe Surrounds

1. Supervision:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water
  • Teach children basic water safety tips
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
  • Have a telephone close by when you or your family is using a pool or spa
  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors
2. Learn Swimming and other Safety Techniques
  • earn how to swim and teach your child how to swim
  • Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly
  • Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency
3. Safe Surroundings
  • Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
  • Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.
  • If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install door alarms and always use them. For additional protection, install window guards on windows facing pools or spas.
  • Install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water
  • Ensure any pool and spa you use has compliant drain covers, and ask your pool service provider if you do not know
  • Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order
  • Consider using a surface wave or underwater alarm
There is a set of 7 brief public service announcements, that take less than a minute to watch but may help prevent a tragedy.
Pool Safely Step 1 Supervision
Pool Safely Step 2 Fencing
Pool Safely Step 3 Pool and Spa Covers
Pool Safely Step 4 Alarms
Pool Safely Step 5 Safety Drain Covers
Pool Safely Step 6 Swim Lessons
Pool Safely Step 7 Learn CPR 

Stay Cool and Stay Safe!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I soooooooo need that mommy... the power of commercials

Mom, is your computer running slow? No, honey.  Well if you went to it would be SOOOO much quicker I bet!

I am not kidding, that came out of Boog's mouth just a few hours ago.  He is either beginning his career in info-mertials or the television has corrupted his brain.

Just like many people, kids, especially mine, are influenced by the commercial.  For quite some time we had avoided them because the shows they watched up until this past year were only on Sprout or Nick Jr.  But now, as well delve into Nickelodeon or the Science Channel the Commercial has entered our lives.

Oh Mommy I totally need that Cookie Press.  
Oh Mommy I really want one of those helicopters.  
Oh Mommy Colgate keeps our teeth the cleanest.

For their under 6 year old minds, they are highly suggestive to the stuff around them.  I am not a TV hater, by any means.  But as parents, we try to take responsibility for what our kids watch, eat, play with, etc.  So even though Mudget thinks he would go coo coo for Cocoa Puffs, I for the most part won't cave in to the demands of his little brainwashed world.  On the bright side, they are learning about sales, money management, advertising, and the benefits of brushing their teeth with a tooth paste 9 out of 10 dentists recommended ...

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Running Skort, or WTH did you get me???

Hun, I think you might kill me for what I got for you...

Unsure of his purchase, Kyle took out something from the Marshall's bag.  It was white and small, and I first I thought it was a new running shirt. But no, I was thinking about the wrong half of my body.  It was a running skirt.  Really, Ky, when was the last time you saw me in a skirt?  

I am used to wearing jeans, tee shirt and flip flops, not a fru fru skirt.  But this is a new thing, well fairly new.  Slowly over the past few years, I have seen more and more women sport these skorts, for lack of a better term, instead of the running short.  They seem to be a little more forgiving on the post baby body than then average pair of track shorts.  But it is still a skirt.  Reluctantly, I put it on and tried it out.  And I was pleasantly surprised.  Besides being white which offset my pasty legs nicely, the fabric was not too tight and fairly breatheable.  A few times, the inner short did ride up, but nothing too deep into crevasses that I couldn't fix subtly.   This Avia skort uses a moisture wicking material to help me stay cool, though I think the shade and breeze had more to do with it.

Depending on your need and style, you can find almost anything, keeping in mind 3 things:
Length: Ranges from the "I have not had a kid" bikini-cut bottoms to a more modest inseam
Fabric: Heavier-weight knits, with a wide, flat waistband, are good for (5 yr) post baby belly coverage, while lightweight wovens are ideal for hot summer days. 
Pockets: Size varies from just big enough for a key or Chapstick to generous enough for an a can of mace. 

Though I am not convinced I00% that I like the running skort, I will give it another try since it was pretty airy and comfortable during my run.  I think it is that I am more self conscious about my blinding legs and low knees.  .

For more styles check out Skirt Sports, home of the Skirt Chaser 5K or go to your local Marshalls, that's where Kyle found mine...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The PeePee Shed or Dropping Trou' in Public

It was the middle of the summer when we first were training Booger to use the potty right before he entered preschool at 2 3/4 years of age.  And since we were outside most of the time, I loaded him up with watery lemonade, sunscreen and only a shirt and underwear.  I basically kept changing his underwear until he started understanding to pull them down to go.  Now mind you, we live in a pretty rural area and have a backyard into which barely our neighbors could see through the trees.  So all went well.  And he learned to pee pee standing up, aiming at leaves.

Fast forward two years later when Mudget is learning to potty train, even sooner and quicker than the older one because, quite frankly, anything you can do, I can do right now too.  So the boys would go on the merry way, playing in the back yard, and when the urge came, they would run over to the shed in the backyard screaming "I'm going to the pee pee shed!"  OK!  And it was fine.  Until they started looking for pee pee sheds/trees/rocks/stumps in public.

I remember being at the playground, with Booger and Mudget.  I turned around to say something to Boog, and look back to see Mudget pushing his pants down saying he had to pee and wanted to know where the pee pee tree was like a Papa's house.  I had to quickly pull up his pants and explain that there was no pee pee tree at the playground, packed them in the car and headed for Newport Creamery- the closest place I could think of with a bathroom.

Then just the other day, I had finished packing the car of groceries, Mudget was sitting in his seat. I turned to return the cart and boom, there he was in the parking lot, trousers down, peeing.  Oh sweet lord.  "I had to pee momma." Yup, I guess you did.

These are only 2 of the COUNTLESS examples of the lack of modesty my children have, though I have tried to explain to them how we only get to do that special pee pee tree/shed/bush/rock in our backyard or at Papa's house and not in the mall parking lot or the playground or in the front yard.  Their innocence and cuteness has luckily spared them from being slapped with a public indecency ticket, so far....

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lube 'em up!

Oh mister sun, sun, mister golden sun, please shine down on me, but only when I have my sunscreen, hat, glasses, and UV shirt on...

Now with the weather getting better quickly and more and more appealing, just wanted to shed some light (pun intended) on the importance of sun safety

According to the Melanoma Foundation of New England, the sun is twice as powerful in the summer when it reflects off the water. It can also be magnified off the mist on a cloudy day. So it is very important to protect you and your family's skin dailyThe Center for Disease Control and Prevention also agree that children should be covered at all times.

So here are some tips:
Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 15 (MFNE recommends at least SPF 30) 30 minutes prior to going out- but don't forget to reapply at least every 2 hours, more often if sweating or swimming. And if you are as pasty as me you don't leave the house in anything less than SPF 50...

Wear protective clothing like hats, sunglasses, and shirts. Check out Coolibar which has received recognition from the American Academy of Dermatology, The Skin Cancer Foundation, and the Melanoma International Foundation.

Be aware of your skin. Check for funky looking moles with asymmetry, color and border irregularities, diameter over 1/4", and evolution (growth in size or height)

So lube 'em up and get 'em out...

Just FYI here is a link to The Skin Cancer Foundation's list of approved sunscreens

Friday, June 3, 2011

No Fortune for you...or UnFortunAte...

As part birthday and part graduation celebration for my sister, we went out to dinner to a local chinese restaurant, stuffed our faces, had some cake, and cracked open the fortune cookies.  Odd thing was, I didn't have one.  

Of course, I first think, "well I'm screwed I guess."  But then it switched to the epiphany that I make my own fortune, as my cookie is only as full as I can make it.  Which then lead me to look up the origins of the cookie and see if I was correct.

According to multiple sites, because we know anything we read on the internet must be true, the fortune cookie has two plausible American beginnings.  First, that it was created in 1918 by David Jung, a Chinese immigrant living in LA, and founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Company. Concerned about the poor he saw wandering near his shop, he created the cookie and passed them out free on the streets. Each cookie contained a strip of paper with an inspirational Bible scripture on it, written for Jung by a Presbyterian minister.  

Another history claims that the fortune cookie was invented in San Fransisco by a Japanese immigrant named Makoto Hagiwara. Hagiwara was a gardener who designed the famous Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. An anti-Japanese mayor fired him from his job around the turn of the century, but later a new mayor reinstated him. Grateful to those who had stood by him during his period of hardship, Hagiwara created a cookie in 1914 that included a thank you note inside. He passed them out at the Japanese Tea Garden, and began serving them there regularly. In 1915, they were displayed at the Panama-Pacific Exhibition, San Francisco's world fair.

So who is the inventor? Dunno, and don't really care.  I just really like Jung's apparent kindness and compassion.  And what is up with my lack of fortune? Well, I have come across a few ideas about the meaning of not having one: 
1. I have now been given free will.
2. Because I was not given one, I must forge my own
3. I have no future.
4. Strictly a manufacturing mishap
5. I need no fortune because I am omnipotent.

Clearly, any of the above Could be true.  But I suppose we shall see what my future holds or how I create it, because I don't think if my husband can tell me what to do, an Americanize crispy folded wafer, with mechanically inserted, randomized written, paper strips can tell me what to doeither.

Read more: 
The History of the Fortune Cookie —
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